An Open Letter to Co-Workers of All Cyclists

10.1.2014 | 1:25 pm

Dear Co-Workers of Every Cyclist in the World,

On behalf of all of us — your cycling co-workers — I’d like to express our appreciation for you. You are, by and large, really good about looking the other way when we park our bikes in our cubicles, and when we bring food into meetings that looks like it’s designed to be consumed by astronauts. And you cheerfully put up with our goofy post-ride endorphin rushes.

That’s wonderful of you. It really is.

Also, I’d like to acknowledge and apologize for our weirdness and shortcomings. We know that we tend to talk about things that make no sense whatsoever to you. We know that our freshly-shaved legs creep you out. 

We know that we can be a self-righteous, indignant lot, screaming about cars and exhaust and close calls and non-existent road shoulders and bike lanes. Don’t take it personally; we’re just a little bit amped up because we just stared death in the face for a moment. We’ll be calm again as soon as our “fight or flight” reaction runs its course.

So, again, thank you.

With all that said, we have a few requests we’d like to make in how you interact with us from this point forward, in order to ensure a happy, productive work environment for all of us.

1. Do not schedule meetings just before we go on rides. If you want to get our full attention during a meeting, please do not schedule that meeting so it ends right when we have a ride scheduled to begin.

Right from the beginning of that meeting, we’ll be fretting about whether this meeting is going to end on time, and that fidgety staring at the clock will only increase as the minutes go by. 

We’ll be thinking about how we can get our gear ready as fast as possible, whether our bikes are ready to go, whether it would be considered acceptable to eat something during the meeting so we won’t be depleted at the beginning of the ride. 

We’ll be thinking about the route: either planning one out if we didn’t already have a specific ride plan, or tracing the route in our minds if we do already have a plan.

We will not be thinking about the meeting. This much I can guarantee.

As you get closer to the designated time for the meeting to end, our fidgeting and distractedness will only increase. 

If your meeting goes long, we will either claim that we have a conflicting meeting that requires us to be present (which is technically true, since we cannot be on a bike ride unless we’re actually on our bikes), or we’ll just stare daggers at you until you feel so uncomfortable that you end your meeting.

2. Do not schedule meetings just after we’ve been on rides. Look, we do our very best to have our rides end when we say they’re going to, but events beyond our control can occur. For example:

  • We might get a flat tire
  • We might get lost
  • We might decide that it’s too nice a day to come back to work just yet

Also, once we do get back from our rides, we’re going to need a little time to adjust. We’re so full of endorphins and the general sense of well-being that comes with riding that it’s not easy to drop back into the hell that is the modern conference room.

Plus, it takes a few minutes — or possibly three-quarters of an hour — for our bodies to realize that it is now time to stop sweating profusely.

It’s best for us to be alone during that time.

3. Do not schedule meetings that conflict with the best time of day for a ride. Hey, we’re happy to work as much as it takes for us to get our jobs done. Don’t go thinking that we’re slackers. But the fact is, we can work at any time during the day (or even during the night), but there are only a few hours per day that are perfect for riding. Hours when it is not too cold, nor too hot. When it’s not too dark. When (for those of us who ride on the road) there isn’t a ton of traffic.

Do not schedule meetings during those times. Those times are sacred. Those times are when we want to be on a bicycle.

Oh, and by the way, those times shift constantly as seasons progress and change, and as days become longer and shorter.

Also, some days we like riding in the cold (or hot, or rain, or snow, or dark), so what constitutes the best time of day for a ride might be a little bit difficult for you to pin down.

Just don’t schedule a meeting during that time, OK?

4. Do not schedule meetings that conflict with a window of good weather. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it snows. By and large, we — your cycling co-workers — don’t really want to ride during these times (unless we have fatbikes, or we ride CX). 

And then, sometime during the day, a window of good weather will open. Just long enough for a little ride.

Don’t go scheduling meetings during these windows. They’re precious, precious windows, and if we’re in a conference room as they open and shut, our souls will wither and die. 

Honest. They really will.

Oh, also: if you’ve scheduled a meeting before it becomes clear that your meeting time conflicts with the only good weather of the day, we’d really appreciate it if you’d reschedule the meeting. We’re not fussy about the reason. Thanks.

5. Do not schedule meetings that are just far enough apart that we could almost — but not quite — go for a ride between them. Don’t tease us with 90-minute gaps between meetings. Between the time it takes us to get ready for a ride, go on the ride, and then get back into work clothes, ninety minutes just isn’t enough.

Schedule us back-to-back, or schedule us with at least 2.5 hour gaps. 

That’s reasonable, isn’t it?

6. Do not schedule big deadlines during Spring. Or Summer. Or early autumn. It may not seem that way to the rest of you, but we cyclists are absolutely committed to our jobs. But we are also big believers in work-life balance. And we’d like you to respect that. So after a long winter, it’s important to us to get out and get some riding in; surely whatever projects you have in mind for us can wait a little bit while we get back in the saddle.

Similarly, Summer is kind of when we do the bulk of our training, not to mention when most of our big races are. So try to keep things light, job-wise, during that season if at all possible (and we all know that it is possible).

And finally, Autumn is really the best time of year for riding. We just want to get in a little more saddle time before the snow flies and the off-season begins, OK?

But we’re totally yours during the Winter. Really, we are. Unless we have CX or fatbikes, I mean.

7. Don’t expect us to come to your offsites, your after-work get-togethers, or your team-building exercises. We have other plans.

Please observe these simple, easy-to-follow rules and we’ll get along famously.

We look forward to working with you.  

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist 


  1. Comment by Brian | 10.1.2014 | 1:32 pm

    And if you are a cyclist who skis, just don’t schedule meetings.

  2. Comment by Brian in VA | 10.1.2014 | 1:34 pm

    I may make this the default response to anyone scheduling meetings with me. I’ll especially quote it when declining the invitation.

  3. Comment by 29ner | 10.1.2014 | 1:36 pm

    ya got balls fatty but I agree

  4. Comment by MicroTim | 10.1.2014 | 1:38 pm

    You left out the part where we commuters must leave early so we ‘don’t get caught in the rain’ that may be imminent. If we go ahead and take the long way home despite the rain is our business ;-)

  5. Comment by Isaac | 10.1.2014 | 1:38 pm

    In the spirit of omitting needless words:

    Don’t schedule meetings.

  6. Comment by AKChick | 10.1.2014 | 1:38 pm

    YES! YES! YES!!!!

  7. Comment by Dave T | 10.1.2014 | 1:48 pm

    This is so true. I have successfully blocked out all but 1 hour of my work day in my schedule at work just to make sure I can get my ride in.

  8. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 10.1.2014 | 2:18 pm

    Meetings do indeed cramp my cycling schedule, but ah, the pure joy of a long post-lunch meeting getting cancelled on a sunny day, which can mean only one thing….epic ride time!

  9. Comment by Anonymous | 10.1.2014 | 2:33 pm

    Love it. Just got back from a lunch time ride myself. No meetings today!!!

  10. Comment by ricky | 10.1.2014 | 2:55 pm

    well done. i want to send this to everyone at my company but i’m worried they will want to schedule a meeting to discuss it.

    oh btw, i set up a lunch meeting for tomorrow for you and the rest of the locals in the corner canyon conference room. lunch will not be provided.

  11. Comment by wharton_crew | 10.1.2014 | 2:56 pm

    Fatty, I can appreciate this very much. Thank you for the public service.

    I’ve recently started running in addition to riding. This is pure Hell, and I am trying to do some self-analysis to figure out what’s wrong with me. To my co-workers, I would add the following: I have marked my calendars with running vs. riding days. On the running days, please feel free to book meetings over any planned running time. I will relish the opportunity to sit in your meeting while ignoring my running window of opportunity. I may even bring pie or donuts to your meeting.

    When the time comes that I abandon running (probably by the end of the week), I’ll let you know that you may no longer schedule meetings at your convenience.

    Thank you.

  12. Comment by MikeL | 10.1.2014 | 3:10 pm

    This is all so true since 99.999% of meetings contain any useful content anyway. I have never been able to figure out why in an one hour meeting there is typically 5 minutes of useful content, in a two hour meeting there is only 5.25 minutes of useful content, etc.
    I would love to know the backstory for this post.

  13. Comment by MikeL | 10.1.2014 | 3:12 pm

    Edit: I meant to say that 99.999% of meetings do not contain any useful content.

    My fingers do not keep up with my mind.

  14. Comment by dug | 10.1.2014 | 3:32 pm

    my name is dug and i approve this message.

  15. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 10.1.2014 | 3:53 pm

    I’ll read this as soon as I get back from a ride.

  16. Comment by spaceyace | 10.1.2014 | 4:05 pm

    Also, do not schedule meetings to be held in the 30 minutes following the posting of a new entry on any of the following sites:
    Any blog of a touring cyclist I am currently following.

  17. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 10.1.2014 | 4:14 pm

    Someone emailed me about a phone meeting while I was riding today. Missed it. So sad, too bad.

  18. Comment by PNP | 10.1.2014 | 4:19 pm

    I telecommute and my boss is 1,000 miles away. Escaping is soooooo easy most days!

  19. Comment by Rick Sunderlage (not my real name) | 10.1.2014 | 4:49 pm

    Every word of this is true.

  20. Comment by Fellowfattychris | 10.1.2014 | 4:57 pm

    Love it! I could really use a similar open letter to significant others of all cyclists. I’m guessing you know what I mean even though you probably don’t very many issues with The Hammer.

  21. Comment by NZ Ev | 10.1.2014 | 5:39 pm

    I just love this post!!!!

  22. Comment by Carl | 10.1.2014 | 7:53 pm

    This is true AND hilarious!

  23. Comment by Jeff Owen | 10.1.2014 | 9:39 pm

    Also, thank you for not saying anything about having to see me in tight fitting clothes in the work place. Although, we both know, I look damn good in them and better in them than you would. Just sayin.

  24. Comment by Jeff Bike | 10.1.2014 | 9:52 pm

    I forwarded this post to my boss but I think he lacks a sense of humor.
    He said He has a great sense of humor, he lets me keep working here. I don’t get it.

  25. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 10.1.2014 | 10:18 pm

    I would love to hear what Leroy’s dog has to say about all of this.

    I took the easy way out a few weeks back and retired. No more meetings, except when I decide there should be a meeting.

  26. Comment by Rohit | 10.2.2014 | 8:12 am

    I was reading this, but then I had to go for a ride.

  27. Comment by Sunny | 10.2.2014 | 8:21 am

    ha ha

  28. Comment by TominNorCal | 10.2.2014 | 9:49 am

    Thanks for taking up the cause for the little guy/gal. Could you please email this to my employer? :-)

  29. Comment by cjohan | 10.2.2014 | 9:51 am

    Wow, must be nice. I mean, who the hell has a job that allows you to just leave and go for a 2 hour bike ride? No one that I know. We all have jobs that give you an hour for lunch and that is not enough time to do anything but eat.

  30. Pingback by Chainlinks: Best of the Bike Web, October 2, 2014 - Trail & Tarmac | 10.2.2014 | 10:36 am

    [...] Do you work with non-cyclists? Send them this. [...]

  31. Comment by Liz M. | 10.2.2014 | 11:23 am

    I just converted one of my co-workers to bike commuting. Now if we can persuade the rest of them, we will all be on the same page re: meeting scheduling.

  32. Comment by MattC | 10.2.2014 | 12:35 pm

    @cjohan…you have an HOUR for lunch? I only get a 1/2 hr…and that’s unpaid at that! Cheap corporate BA$#&RDS!

    However, I don’t do meetings. Nancy Reagan said I didn’t have to (“just say NO”). Or was that Hillary? Or maybe that’s “It takes a village”. But “It takes a village” to do WHAT exactly? That’s my point. If there’s more than one person, then it’s kind of like a village meeting, in which case nothing productive will get done.

  33. Comment by MattC | 10.2.2014 | 12:39 pm

    Or there’s the old adage “a person is smart, PEOPLE are stupid” (referring to the fact that the more people involved in a decision the more likely it is that it will be ridiculous and stupid). This explains Congress quite aptly.

  34. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 10.2.2014 | 1:57 pm

    Two months! That’s how long before even my self-employed “employers” (read: customers) have until I can ride whenever I want. Ah, retirement. The question then becomes; will I get my procrastinating butt out the door?

  35. Comment by bikemike | 10.2.2014 | 2:33 pm

    Meetings are stupid, especially if power point presentations are used.

  36. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 10.2.2014 | 9:25 pm

    Right abut now I am thinking that this would be good fodder for a Bike Monkey ad – the thought of rescuing a rider from a meeting so he/she can get out and ride is tantalizing.

  37. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » An Open Letter to My Co-Workers Who Have Window Offices | 10.6.2014 | 12:04 pm

    [...] Note from Fatty: Upon reading my “Open Letter to Co-Workers of All Cyclists,” Dug texted me, saying, “You forgot the part about changing in the parking lot.” I replied, [...]

  38. Comment by Reb | 10.8.2014 | 6:54 pm

    THIS !!!!!!!!!!! is why i retired as soon as i could at a young age.
    Just “LET ME GO OUT” from this worthless meeting and go for a ride.
    And now that ” I AM FREE ” to ride, i do so with gusto:
    Like 100 mile rides in the middle of the work week.

  39. Comment by Frank | 10.12.2014 | 3:19 pm

    No meeting Thursday 16Oct14. I’ll be going nowhere for 100 miles.

  40. Pingback by Five Things From: October | mike's blog | 11.7.2014 | 12:57 pm

    [...] – Helps to explain my extreme dislike of meetings. [...]


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.